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The Last of the Mohicans



Michael Mann’s epic film is set in the America of 1757, where the French and the English are fighting for power, aided by the Huron and Mohican Native Americans respectively. But centre stage in the film is Daniel Day-Lewis as Hawkeye, the orphan of murdered settlers raised by Mohicans and torn between two cultures, who falls for Cora Munro (Madeline Stowe), daughter of one of the British commanders.

The plot involves Hawkeye and his two companions Chinachgook (Russell Means) and Uncas (Eric Schweig) loosely allying themselves to the British and helping them through enemy territory where the murderous Hurons, led by Magua (Wes Studi) lie in wait – an ambush sees Cora and her sister captured but then rescued while a British fort under siege by the French requires reinforcements.

The film is spectacular to look at – the siege of the fort recalls Edward Zwick’s magnificent Glory and some of the battles in the forests, while bloody, are equally stirring – but the two leads also provide a calm that gives balance to the whole. Sadly ignored for the Oscars (it won one for best sound), this is an almost flawless film.

production details
USA | 112 minutes | 1992

Director: Michael Mann
Writers: Christopher Crow, Michael Mann based on James Fenimore Cooper’s novel

Pete Postlethwaite as Capt. Beams
Madeleine Stowe as Cora Munro
Daniel Day-Lewis as Hawkeye/Nathaniel Poe
Jodhi May as Alice Munro
Maurice Roeves as Col. Edmund Munro
Wes Studi as Magua
Russell Means as Chingachgook
Eric Schweig as Uncas
Steven Waddington as Major Heyward
Patrice Chéreau as Gen Montcalm
Edward Blatchford as Jack Winthrop
Terry Kinney as John Cameron
Tracey Ellis as Alexandra Cameron
Justin M. Rice as James Cameron
Dennis Banks as Ongewasgone